Corporate Eye

Branding and Disaster Planning

Most companies have a disaster plan in place that gives step-by-step instructions for all employees to follow in case something terrible happens, such as a flood at the headquarters location, loss of power for several days, and more.  Whatever the disaster may be (and let’s hope one never occurs), all employees are given a copy of the disaster plan instructions and told to bring it home and keep it in a safe place.

Business disaster plans are one thing, but what about brand disaster plans?  I’m thinking of disasters that can affect brands in all industries.  For example, consider the poisoned Tylenol incident in the United States in the 1980s.  More recently, toys manufactured with lead paint and foods that carry e-coli and other bacteria have made it to consumers’ hands bringing far more than negative publicity to the companies behind those brands.  While some of these brand disasters are bigger than others, they can all still be called disasters of some sort. 

That leads me to my question.  Do you have a disaster plan for your brand?  You never know what might happen in today’s world.  There are so many external forces at work in a global economy that developing a brand disaster plan isn’t that unusual of an idea.  What would you do if something terrible happened to your brand?  Could your company survive a branding disaster?  Make sure it can by planning for the worst now.

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.